Wheat Growers opens innovation center in South Dakota

A celebration officially opened the Wheat Growers’ Innovation Center in Bath, South Dakota on Tuesday. 

The 36,000-square-foot center will allow wheat growers’ to meet more demand from farmers for technological advancements in agriculture.

“We’re very excited about what this facility allows us to do for our farmer-owners, their equipment and ideas and for ourselves internally,” Steve Briggs, Wheat Growers senior vice president for agronomy and corporate marketing, said. “Credit goes to our board of directors for their vision for the future of our co-op and the industry.”

There will be four sections of the center focused on different aspects of technology and needs of the farmers.

The Innovation Showroom will showcase new and up-and-coming technology from Wheat Growers’ supply partners. 

The Demonstration Theater will focus on demonstrating equipment and hardware to up to 50 people at a time. Live streaming of demonstrations from the theater will be available at other Wheat Growers locations. 

The Equipment Modification Shop is open for farmers who need internal repairs and maintenance. 

The Wheat Growers Parts Store will have the company’s inventory in one location.

“The lnnovation Center will help the producers in the state learn first-hand what precision ag tools are available and provide them the necessary training to get the most out of their investments," South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch, in a letter congratulating Wheat Growers on the Innovation Center, said. "I look forward to seeing the great benefits from your efforts for years to come.”

Briggs said area educators and businesses have inquired about the facility. 

“We have received interest and excitement about the center from [South Dakota State University], Lake Area Technical Institute, Mitchell Technical Institute and equipment manufacturers. We are looking at joint training and educational efforts with them at the center.”